Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Homeschool.... What???

I have been thinking about what kind of school my kids would go too since shortly after the plus sign appeared for the first time.

Public, Private, Christian, Catholic...

I am a planner in case you didn't know.

Anyway our choices for our kids education involved many things.... as all good decisions should.

I am writing this NOT to persuade anyone to choose homeschool... if its not for you that would be disastrous. I am trying to give an honest answer to the question I have been asked over and over recently... why are you homeschooling???

The reason we first considered homeschooling was because my husband was homeschooled.
He enjoyed it, and saw it as probably the best option in his opinion...
he met with resistance to say the least.
I didn't get it.

The new Mommy in me liked the idea of "never having to let them go". 
Obviously that is a warped and emotionally unhealthy reason to homeschool but its true.
I have to admit that while other Mommy's cried seeing there little ones get on the bus last week I was feeling totally at peace with our choice.... then later in the day I cry as I thought of the fact that nap time would be SO quiet without the five year old....

It all even's out in the end doesn't it?

The first concern I had was her becoming an un-socialized weirdo.
Seriously... we all know one don't we? The homeschooler gone horribly wrong.
Sure they are a genius but they don't know how to hold a conversation.

But really... wasn't there at least one of those sort of kids in your class at school too.
And what happened to them? Well in my school they were told loudly, rudely and daily that they were different. And different is bad.

All I can say to that is I hope that in this choice we will find a balance. 
She will certainly spend more time with adults than most of her peers... 
and honestly I think that will be better in many ways.
I would rather she emulate her Aunts and Uncles, her cousins, her teachers at church and ballet than to see her trying her best to please the "cool girls" at school.

I know her, she would climb the social ladder or die trying.
That's not trying to be mean, its just her personality. And I think homeschool will afford her more time and space to find out her worth and who she is without a lot of influence from the masses.

Another example is with Tommy I think it will help him hold onto his sweetness a little more.
It's just HIS personality. He is sensitive... all boy, rowdy and loud... but a little more emotional than society tends to like in our men folk. I don't want to see that scared out of him at a young age.
He too (just like anyone I think) could benefit from more time to grow away from constant peer pressure.

My next logical question was more agonizing... could I do this?
Could I handle being solely responsible for her day to day education?

I researched.... I looked at curriculum.
I examined my many personality flaws... of which the most glaring is procrastination.

Obviously I can handle teaching kindergarten and mostly the primary years.
My biggest concern was starting out with accountability and a system that was very structured.

Kindergarten doesn't seem like a big deal academically... but I wanted to get off to a good start.
I wanted to be checked by someone else for the first few years to get us into good daily habits which is what led us to Pa Cyber for this year. 

I really think we will eventually switch to a more traditional homeschool style because it will afford even more flexibility for them to go at their own pace and focus on strengths and interests...
but for now we are loving the little lincoln program and are considering taking it through to third grade.

But what about later? High School? I am absolutely horrible at math... what if one of them excels and I cannot keep up? This is a likely scenario considering their Dad is a math whiz.

The short answer is we aren't going to worry about that now.
Maybe Dad will have to take over for just that subject.
Maybe we will have to pay for a tutor.... we'll see!

Do not worry about tomorrow... for today has enough worries of its own.

I am kind of going to gloss over the fact that we are Christian's and lots of Christian's homeschool to keep their kids from bad influences.
I think that's fine. As I said before I want them to be socialized by a variety of people...
not just mainly their peer groups. 
It sort of seems like the blind leading the blind to me when you expect a group of children of all the same age to teach each other how to socialize.

But really... our Pastor's family actually sites their Christianity as the REASON they send their kids to public school. To be a witness, a good influence, to learn how to be righteous in the midst of people who are not. I know many great kids who are homeschooled, and I know quite a few public school kids who are just as serious about their faith... do they have to "try" harder? Maybe. But I am sure that is part of what make them stand firm in their faith.

There are pro's and con's to everything.
Part of our decision was logic and part was feeling... we felt this was the way for us.
That truly became the deciding factor. Just gut instinct about our kids and our family.

Not really much different than other parents decisions to co-sleep in some way, 
or breastfeed, 
or use a sling, 
or potty train a certain way and time, 
or take away the binky at one year... or wait till three.

I see us homeschooling for the long haul but I am trying to keep myself open to whatever God may have for them, and be aware of their individual needs.
What works for one may not work for another, I am sure they will have lots of different ways of learning between the four of them.

I want more than anything for them to have a great education, lots of opportunities to find out what they love and to learn to use it for the good of other and for God's glory... however we get their is fine by me, and this is what we have chosen for now....

PJ's and crayons at the kitchen table....

Word Wall in the entry way...

Our monthly Calendar by the kitchen door...

With a magnet for EVERYTHING....

Post-it notes everywhere.... in case you forget what a stove is....

and last but not least, us.. together, growing, learning.

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1 comment:

Sarah said...

I think you will be amazing at it Laura - truthfully I would probably try the same thing. It's becoming so common place now and I've heard great things from very well-adjusted kids in PA's cyber school. Good Luck! You'll be great!